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Holiday Cookie Ideas!

Background: Glittering Lemon Cookies       Front Clockwise fr Top: Orange Cardamon Cookies, Double Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, Rugelach, Chocolate Chip Cookies

It’s the Holiday Season and it puts me in the mood for all things bright, glittering and sweet.

I have a sweet tooth. yes. If that hasn’t been evident…

I was brainstorming cookie recipes with a friend to find some more interesting cookies to make for the holiday season besides the oldie but goodie Chocolate Chip Cookie and came across a few that were just too pretty like the Glittering Lemon Sandwich Cookie in the background of the pic!

Orange Cardamon cookies are elegant and light with a tad of difference. I would probably add orange zest and rose petals to it for a contrasting sweet smell and flavor. These would be great for a dinner party or simple but elegant night in with friends.

The Double Chocolate Sandwich Cookies will be a hit with kids and adults alike and can be personalized and decorated with sugar decorations, chocolate sprinkles or silver sugar balls!

Here are some ideas to add to your cookie season!

Glittering Lemon Sandwich Cookie

Ingredients:

For cookies:

  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • White or colored sanding sugars

For Filling:

  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened

INSTRUCTIONS:

Make cookies:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Whisk together flour, cornstarch, and salt.
  • Beat together butter and confectioners sugar with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, then beat in zest and vanilla. At low speed, mix in flour mixture just until a soft dough forms.
  • Put sanding sugars in different bowls. Roll a scant teaspoon of dough into a ball and drop into sugar, turning to coat. Reshape if necessary and transfer to a baking sheet. Repeat, spacing balls 3/4 inch apart, until baking sheet is filled.
  • Bake until tops are slightly cracked but still pale (bottoms will be pale golden), 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer cookies on parchment to a rack to cool completely.
  • Form and bake more cookies on second baking sheet.

Make filling and sandwich cookies:

  • Beat together all filling ingredients in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until combined well. Transfer to sealable bag and snip off a corner.
  • Turn over half of cookies and pipe about 1/2 teaspoon filling on flat side of each. Sandwich with remaining cookies, pressing gently.
  • Cookies keep in a metal cookie tin at room temperature 4 days.

    Orange Cardamon Cookies

    Ingredients:

    • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons grated orange zest
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 2 sticks (1/2 lb) unsalted butter, softened
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 1 large egg yolk
    • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
    • Makes 18 – 24 cookies using a 3-inch round or 2 3/4-inch square cookie cutter
      Garnish with sugar icing, decorative sugar, piping. Using a pastry bag fitted with a piping tip results in cleaner lines of icing.

    Make dough:

    • Whisk together flour, zest, cardamom, and salt.
    • Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, then beat in yolk and cream. At low speed, mix in flour mixture in 3 batches just until a dough forms. Quarter dough and form each piece into a 6-inch disk, then chill, wrapped separately in plastic wrap, until firm, 2 to 3 hours.Dough can be chilled up to 2 days.

    Cut and bake cookies:

    • Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.
    • Roll out 1 piece of dough between sheets of parchment paper into an 11-inch round (1/8 inch thick). Slide dough in parchment onto a tray and chill until firm, about 15 minutes.
    • Cut out as many cookies as possible with cookie cutter (chill dough again if necessary), reserving and chilling scraps. Transfer cookies to a parchment- lined large baking sheet, arranging them 1 inch apart.
    • Bake until edges are golden-brown, 9 to 12 minutes. Cool on baking sheet 5 minutes, then slide cookies, still on parchment, onto a rack to cool completely.
    • Make more cookies with remaining dough and scraps (reroll only once) on cooled freshly lined baking sheets.
    • If icing cookies and coloring icing, transfer small batches to small bowls, 1 for each color, and tint with food coloring. Spoon each color of icing into separate sealable bags, pressing out excess air, and snip an 1/8-inch opening in 1 bottom corner of each bag. Pipe icing onto a plate to test consistency. If too thick, thin a small batch with a few drops of orange juice.
    • Decoratively pipe icing onto cookies, then sprinkle with decorative sugar (if using) and let dry completely, about 1 hour (depending on humidity).
    • Cookies keep, layered between sheets of parchment if iced, in an airtight container at room temperature 1 week.

    Double Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

    Ingrdients:
    For dough

    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 2 sticks (1/2 lb) unsalted butter, softened
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 1 large egg yolk
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

    For ganache

    • 1/2 cup heavy cream
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup
    • 3/4 lb fine-quality white chocolate, melted
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
    • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

    Makes 40 cookies using a 1 3/4-inch fluted round cookie cutter

    Instructions:
    Make dough:

    • Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.
    • Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, then beat in yolk and vanilla. At low speed, mix in flour mixture in 3 batches just until a dough forms. Divide dough in half and form each piece into a 6-inch square, then chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, 2 to 3 hours.
    • Dough can be chilled up to 2 days.

    Make ganache while dough chills:

    • Bring cream and corn syrup just to a simmer in a small heavy saucepan, then stir into melted chocolate. Stir in butter and vanilla until smooth. Cover surface with parchment paper and chill, stirring occasionally, until very thick, about 30 minutes.
    • Ganache can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, its surface covered with parchment. Bring to room temperature, then beat with mixer before using.

    Cut and bake cookies:

    • Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Butter 2 large baking sheets.
    • Roll out 1 piece of dough between sheets of parchment paper into a 14- by 10-inch rectangle (1/8 inch thick). Slide dough in parchment onto a tray and freeze until dough is firm, about 10 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough.
    • Cut out as many rounds as possible from first chilled square with cutter, reserving and chilling scraps, then quickly transfer cookies to a buttered baking sheet, arranging them 1/2 inch apart. (If dough becomes too soft, return to freezer until firm.)
    • Sprinkle half of cookies with decorative sugar (if using), then bake cookies until baked through and slightly puffed, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on sheet on rack 5 minutes, then transfer to rack to cool completely (cookies will crisp as they cool).
    • Make more cookies with remaining dough and scraps (reroll only once).

    Assemble sandwich cookies:

    • Beat ganache with an electric mixer at high speed just until light and fluffy. Transfer to a sealable plastic bag (snip off 1/8 to 1/4 inch from 1 corner with scissors). Pipe ganache onto flat sides of plain cookies, then top with sugared cookies to make sandwiches. Chill, layered between sheets of parchment, in an airtight container until filling is set, at least 1 hour.
    • Sandwiched cookies keep, chilled, 4 days.

    recipes by gourmet.com

Grown Up, Elegant Hostess Cup Cake Recipe!

So, the arbitration between Hostess and the Labor Union failed.
Hostess is proceeding with selling itself. It’s a very viable business, just the Union and labor cost that is sticky. So if the next owner can work that out, they have themselves an established business that is profitable.
In the meanwhile, we’ll all have to make our own Hostess Cup cakes…
I posted a previous version with the original marshmallow creme filling.

If you want to cut down the work, I was in the grocery store and saw pre-made Kraft Marshmallow Creme!
You can try to find something similar in your grocery store. Although I do like to make everything fresh when I actually get to baking!

Kraft Marshmallow Creme Filling!

Here is a more elegant, grown up version of the Hostess cup cakes with White Chocolate Filling!
How adult like! You can also try improvements using dark chocolate and adding orange zest or alcohol to the cupcake mix 😉 I did say it was an adult cupcake =)

Try it!

Chocolate Cupcake with White Chocolate Mousse Filling

ELEGANT HOSTESS CUPCAKE

Ingredients
White Chocolate Mousse:

2 large egg yolks

1 large egg

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

7 ounces white chocolate, melted

½ cup heavy cream

Devils Food Cake:

3 cups granulated sugar

2¼ cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking soda

1½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1½ cups cocoa powder

4 large eggs

2 large egg yolks

1½ cups buttermilk

1½ cups strong brewed coffee, warm

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1½ tablespoons butter, melted

Chocolate Glaze:

½ cup heavy cream

7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1½ teaspoons butter

Pinch salt

3 tablespoons white chocolate, melted

Directions:

1. Make mousse: Place yolks, eggs and sugar in a bowl over a double boiler and whisk until warm to the touch, about 2 minutes. Remove from double boiler and whisk until thick, about 2 minutes. Drizzle melted chocolate into egg mixture, whisking vigorously until incorporated. In a separate bowl whisk cream to stiff peaks. Fold into egg-chocolate mixture and place in a piping bag fitted with a large tip. Refrigerate until needed.

2. Make cupcakes: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Sift sugar, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cocoa into a bowl. In another bowl whisk together eggs, yolks, buttermilk, coffee and vanilla. Slowly add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, whisking. Add butter and stir until just combined.

3. Spray a 12-cup nonstick cupcake pan with cooking spray. Fill each cup halfway with batter. Bake until cooked through, 18-20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature before filling and glazing.

4. Make glaze: In a small pot, bring cream to a simmer. Place bittersweet chocolate, butter and salt in a bowl. Pour simmering cream into the bowl and let sit 1 minute. Whisk until smooth.

5. Assemble cupcakes: Working with one at a time, remove cupcakes from pan. Insert the piping tip into the top center of each cupcake and pipe in white chocolate until full. Wipe any excess off top of cupcake.

6. Dip tops of cupcakes in glaze. Shake upside down to remove excess. Allow glaze to set 10 minutes. Place warm white chocolate in a piping bag with a narrow tip and pipe a line of loops across top of each cupcake.

As made by pastry chef Tiffany MacIsaac  of Washington, D.C., restaurant Birch & Barley.

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HOSTESS CUPCAKE 2.0

White Chocolate Mousse:

2 large egg yolks

1 large egg

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

7 ounces white chocolate, melted

½ cup heavy cream

Devils Food Cake:

3 cups granulated sugar

2¼ cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking soda

1½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1½ cups cocoa powder

4 large eggs

2 large egg yolks

1½ cups buttermilk

1½ cups strong brewed coffee, warm

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1½ tablespoons butter, melted

Chocolate Glaze:

½ cup heavy cream

7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1½ teaspoons butter

Pinch salt

3 tablespoons white chocolate, melted

WHAT TO DO:

1. Make mousse: Place yolks, eggs and sugar in a bowl over a double boiler and whisk until warm to the touch, about 2 minutes. Remove from double boiler and whisk until thick, about 2 minutes. Drizzle melted chocolate into egg mixture, whisking vigorously until incorporated. In a separate bowl whisk cream to stiff peaks. Fold into egg-chocolate mixture and place in a piping bag fitted with a large tip. Refrigerate until needed.

2. Make cupcakes: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Sift sugar, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cocoa into a bowl. In another bowl whisk together eggs, yolks, buttermilk, coffee and vanilla. Slowly add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, whisking. Add butter and stir until just combined.

3. Spray a 12-cup nonstick cupcake pan with cooking spray. Fill each cup halfway with batter. Bake until cooked through, 18-20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature before filling and glazing.

4. Make glaze: In a small pot, bring cream to a simmer. Place bittersweet chocolate, butter and salt in a bowl. Pour simmering cream into the bowl and let sit 1 minute. Whisk until smooth.

5. Assemble cupcakes: Working with one at a time, remove cupcakes from pan. Insert the piping tip into the top center of each cupcake and pipe in white chocolate until full. Wipe any excess off top of cupcake.

6. Dip tops of cupcakes in glaze. Shake upside down to remove excess. Allow glaze to set 10 minutes. Place warm white chocolate in a piping bag with a narrow tip and pipe a line of loops across top of each cupcake.

Thanksgiving Vegan Blueberry Pie Pics… Proof of Kitchen Mishaps!

How was everyone’s Thanksgiving? Any stories to share?

Continuing from Kitchen Adventures! (or Mishaps…)

Here are the vegan pie pics! To prove I’m not making this up! (yes because I’m sure people are keen to show what disasters they are in the kitchen….)

And I decided to watermark this photo in case anyone tries to steal it and pass of this wonderful pie work as their own!! Cos that’s what people do!!! You want to show off your burnt pie?? GO bake your OWN!

This is Mine!! Burnt & Proud of it!!! Actually, not really. I imagined my pie coming out a perfect brown that would be the start of glorious baking blogging. Definitely not.

Burnt Pie! Baking with NO Temperature Dial!

In any case, the pie was delicious! I made a vegan pie with 2 punnets of fresh blueberries! I hate commercial over-sugary fillings. If I bake something, I’ll do everything from scratch! The dough and filling here are all 100% home made =)

100% home made vegan blueberry pie!! YUM! (Minus burns…)

Sorry the pics are late. I know it feels like Thanksgiving was last month already! Er, I think I got put to sleep by the food!

Recipe if you want to try your hand and hope yours comes out better than mine =)

Vegan Blueberry Pie

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 2 3/4 cups all purpose plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 olive oil (or any oil you like)
  • 6 tablespoons (or more) ice water

Filling:

  • 2 punnets fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar

For crust:
Sift flour into large bowl. Add sugar, and salt. Blend flour, sugar, salt. Slowly pour olive oil and mix with dry ingredients until a lump forms. Add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time and knead into dough till dough still holds but is not dry. If you knead it and cracks appear, add more water. Divide dough into 2 balls. Flatten into disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes. The dough should rise/expand slightly.
Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.
When making the pie, let the dough cool down and soften slightly before rolling out.

Making the Pie: (Don’t worry about the filling, it’ll bake together)
Preheat oven to 425F for 30 mins.

Pie Base–
Roll out 1 dough disk on floured surface to 10 – 11 inch round. Transfer to 9-inch pie dish. Trim dough overhang to 1/2 inch.

Reduce oven temperature to 375°F. Place pie on rimmed baking sheet and bake 10-15 minutes till slightly brown. Take out of oven

Filling–
Pour blueberries on crust base, sprinkle 1/2 tablespoon sugar all over blueberries.
Put in to bake with a foil sheet lightly covering the pie or cover the edges with foil collar. Bake till blueberries soften. Approximately 30-45 minutes.

Pie Top–
Roll out second dough disk on floured surface to 11-inch round.
Fold bottom crust up over ends of strips and crimp edges to seal.
Bake till golden brown. Approximately 10-15 minutes.

Take out and let cool before serving.
Enjoy!

Do not expect to take home “your supposed portion” of a meal after announcing you’d like a break.

I love how Domestic Diva dives straight into the Lasagna Recipe. I would have stuck on the point of “HE’s breaking up with me?!?! We weren’t even together!! Wait, there’s no WE!
I’m gonna sit here and eat that delicious farmers market lasagna (one of my favorites by the way) while he can stare in growing hunger!!

…and He’s breaking up with me???
I (capital 80 pt font) was planning on breaking up with him! I was sparing his feelings!!

Yeah, and it’s not even me. See how ruffled i get? I might be prettier ruffled if I had a beautiful shiny plumage with shimmering green and blue feathers — just like a peacock.

domestic diva, M.D.

There is such a thing as a stupid request.

I was casually dating a guy. He was the sort of guy that was nice enough, but not really my type overall as I was quickly realizing. You know the guys that it would be better to have just been friends as opposed to date? He fell into that category…hence the “casually dating”. I was planning on ending it myself, but I knew he was really stressed with work (so I was barely seeing him anyway) so I figured I’d wait at least a little bit to not add to the stress.

One day, he came over to my house for dinner. I had just made an amazing lasagna with wild mushrooms from my local farmer’s market. I couldn’t wait to eat it.

I didn’t realize there was going to be a slight delay.

He walked in, sat down on…

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Your Very Own Homemade Hostess Cupcakes!

I posted about Hostess shutting down its business .

But fear not! If you loved their creme filled chocolate cupcakes (like I do!), try this recipe!

Deliciously Yummy: Chocolatey Goodness Cures Everything!!!

There’s a heartwarming story from a blogger who makes this for her father who has some memory problems. It cheers him up and of course makes her happy too. You can read their story here

I’m going to bake a batch soon, this week on Black Friday possibly! I will post pics!
Try it and I’d love to see your pics and know how you felt about the recipe!

CUPCAKES

  • 1¼ cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 stick (8 Tbsp.) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

FILLING

  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla exrtact
  • 3 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 1 cup marshmallow creme

GANACHE

  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

ICING

  • 4 Tbsp. butter, softened
  • 1 Tbsp. milk
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ tsp. vanilla

Directions
Place oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350.
Spray muffin tins (18-20 muffins) with non-stick bakers spray (or line with paper liners).

THE CUPCAKES: Place the sugar and 1 cup of water in a saucepan.
Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes.
Pour the sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer or a large bowl.
Add the chocolate and butter and let sit, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture has cooled slightly. Stir in the vanilla.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl.

Place the chocolate mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer and add the eggs, beating on medium speed until well combined, then mix in the dry ingredients on low speed until the batter is smooth.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Fill each muffin about ½ way (about ¼ cup batter per cupcake) and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes. The cupcakes will sink in the middle slightly. Cool in the pans for 25 minutes, then transfer to a rack and cool completely.

While the cupcakes are cooling, work on making the filling.

FILLING: Using a mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Beat in ½ cup confectioners’ sugar. Add the vanilla and 1 Tbsp. heavy cream and beat until smooth. Alternating between batches, beat in the remaining ½ cup confectioners’ sugar and 2 Tbsp. heavy cream. Beat in the marshmallow creme. Refrigerate until ready to use.

GANACHE. Place the chocolate in a stainless-steel bowl. Heat the cream and 1 tablespoon butter in a saucepan until just boiling, then pour over the chocolate.
Let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth.
Add 2 tsp. vanilla; let stand until cool but still glossy and liquid.

FILL THE CUPCAKES: Put the cream filling into a pastry bag fitted with a medium star tip. Insert the tip into the center of each cupcake top; fill until the cupcake is heavier (do not overfill). It’s OK if some of the filling peeks out, it will be covered by the ganache.

FROST THE CUPCAKES: When the ganache has cooled enough to work with, spoon 1 Tbsp. of ganache onto each cupcake and lightly spread with an offset spatula or a knife. Chill for at least 15 minutes.

PREPARE THE ICING: Using a mixer, beat the remaining 4 Tbsp. butter, ¼ teaspoon vanilla, milk and confectioners’ sugar until smooth, adding more milk if needed. Spoon into a pastry bag with a small tip. Pipe the trademark curly-q’s onto the cupcakes to decorate. Store cupcakes in the refrigerator.

Eat and Enjoy!

I’d love to hear what you thought of this recipe! Leave me a comment!
Chocolatey Kisses!

Recipe adapted from Food Network Magazine
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